The Premier League in England has long been the crown jewel of football leagues around the world. It is arguably the most recognizable and popular of all professional sports organizations on the face of the planet. This factor alone explains why many of the top football players dream of playing for one of the 20 teams in the Premier League. Competition globally is heating up, however, leading many to wonder if the top spot is still reserved for England’s top league. One such competitor that has been gaining momentum in recent years is America’s Major League Soccer. Let’s take a quick look now at how MLS teams pair up with Premier League Teams.
From the Mouths of MLS Players
A recent survey of more than 120 current MLS players revealed that roughly two-thirds of them feel like they would most definitely survive the Premier League. With a mix of former premier league players now a regular fixture on the North American continent, this sentiment might not be as from the mark as it first appears. Let us not forget that beyond the top four teams in Premier League, the level of play tends to drop of substantially as expressed on 5Dimes sportsbook. While none of the MLS players surveyed felt that their team would place in the top four, more than half felt that they would place in the middle of the table. In addition, more than fifteen percent felt that their MLS club would have a legitimate shot of place somewhere between fifth and ninth in the Premier League standings. This would place them squarely out of relegation range, which is the ultimate goal of every team playing in Europe.
Naturally, not everyone is in agreement with these findings. Most notably, the entire English continent seems to be up in arms over the mere insinuation that any non-Premier league club could compete in Britain. To argue that a team from America, a country historically deemed as being anti-football, is simply adding insult to the injury. There is the argument that a high percentage of players currently in the MLS have never even played in Europe. As a result, they do not understand first hand the level of competition that exists in England, which disqualifies them from being able to make such a judgment call.
North American Football Is Growing In Popularity
While it is true that MLS games in the early days used to be played in largely empty stadiums, that is no longer the case. Teams exist from coast to coast and games are lively affairs. Television contracts have made the clubs more financially viable, enabling them to attract star players from Europe and Latin America. In the Premier League, not every team is in a financially beneficial position. In fact, teams towards the bottom of the table often struggle to attract fans to their stadiums, and finding available money for player salaries is often a constant struggle. To that end, the MLS appears to be faring quite well with their Premier League counterparts.
Is the MLS as talented on the whole as the Premier League? Perhaps not, but the level of competition is on the rise. The financial stability of the league appears to be well established, and players themselves are growing increasingly confident in their abilities. While the league might not be known by most outside of North America, many of its players are. Let’s not forget that David Beckham spent the twilight of his career playing for Los Angeles, and Thierry Henry did the same for New York. The argument may continue, but for now the Premier League wins out. How long that remains true, however, remains to be seen.